Month-long virtual conversation explores: What is a recipe?

  • Date

    Fri 2 Jun 17

Academics from across the globe will be taking part in a virtual conversation to try and establish – What is a recipe?

The month-long debate will span both the virtual and real world, with Twitter, Facebook, podcasts and Instagram all being used to encourage anyone with an interest in recipes – culinary, medical, magical, or other - to take part.

Dr Lisa Smith, a lecturer in digital history at the University of Essex, is one of the founders and contributing editors to The Recipe Project a blog devoted to the study of recipes, which has sparked this wider debate.

“Our readership and contributors highlight the growing scholarly and popular interest in recipes, but we keep coming back to the same question: What is a recipe? What are they for? Are they a set of instructions or a way of life?

“This month-long series of events will hopefully encourage not just academics, but anyone with an interest in recipes, to join the conversation.”

The programme starts and ends with panel discussions which will be streamed live on social media. The first, hosted at the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians is on Friday 2 June, while the finale will be a debate, involving all the contributing editors to The Recipe Project, at the Wellcome Library in London on Monday 10 July.

In between social media will be flooded with pictures, texts, conversations, demonstrations and much more, covering everything from the history of nutrition and historical remedies for pain relief in childbirth to cooking in the trenches in the First World War.

Contributions are expected from across the globe, including America, Canada and India, and from organisations as diverse as the College of Physicians in Philadelphia to the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington D.C.

The programme is published on The Recipe Project website and the presentations will be included in a post-event exhibition site. Follow the event on Twitter: @historecipes